Water, the hub of life…
Water, the hub of life
This post is all about water, how important it is for you and how much water should you really be drinking.
I want to start with some basic facts on water and how it affects your body. One of the first reasons why water is important for your health and wellbeing is the fact that it is an essential part of your body as it makes up between 60 and 70% of the human body. It also makes more than two thirds of human body weight, so it might not be so hard to believe that everything in our body is floating in a water-based suspension. Even more important is the fact that many of our bodily functions require water in some part of their equation to function properly. I am pretty sure you know by now that without water, we would die in a few days, but I am not so sure you are familiar with these interesting facts: the human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is 82% water and lungs 90% water. It is very surprising and a bit shocking, that only a 2% drop in our body's water supply can trigger signs of dehydration, which are: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on smaller print or letters on a computer screen. Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. So if you frequently have the need for an afternoon nap or you’re having trouble reading this post? Get yourself a glass of water and drink up!
So why water? Here are the basic functions of it in our body: it hydrates and lubricates the body, it moves vital nutrients through the body, it regulates body temperature, it helps with digestion, it removes toxins and helps stimulate metabolism.
Water cleans out your system
First let’s focus on how water helps us remove toxins from the body. Your body is actually able to detoxify itself in a natural way with the use of its lungs, liver and kidneys, but it needs the support of water to do so. Water flushes toxins and waste from the body through urination and perspiration. Our kidney system is unique in its filtering capabilities and in order for it to work, it is totally dependent upon water. The kidneys remove waste products from the blood, eliminate toxic substances in the urine, and receive water-soluble toxins from the liver for processing. Water is also largely responsible for the fluid content of blood. Liver being the organ that filters blood, the blood’s viscosity impacts the liver’s detoxification abilities. As a result, not drinking enough water will increase the blood’s thickness and make it harder to filter, so more hard work for your liver.
Water stimulates our metabolism and helps maintain a healthy weight
Your liver is a remarkable organ and I’ve talked about its filtering task, but here is a function related to that task an it is the functions to take released body fat and break it down for use as energy (a process called lipolysis). However, when hydration levels get as low as 80%, the liver has a difficult time functioning and filtering all that thickened blood. So if the liver isn’t able to do its job, our body cannot break down fat and use it for energy at the rate in which we need it to. When trying to maintain a proper diet and exercising regularly and in order for these to be really effective, you’ll need to maintain a proper hydration level so that your liver can process the fat in your bloodstream.
In addition, a recent German study showed that drinking water can boost metabolism, so in other words water increases your body’s ability to burn fat. The study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that after drinking water (500ml), the subjects metabolic rates—or the rate at which calories are burned—increased by 30% for both men and women. The increases occurred within 10 minutes of water consumption and reached a maximum after about 30 or 40 minutes.
But how much water should we drink on daily basis? Some proclaim a random standard of how much water a person should drink, which is most of the time around 8 glasses of fluid (recommendable water) per day. However, water quantity consumption cannot be generalized, because everyone is different. Your water needs depend on many factors, including your gender, age, health, how active you are and where you live. Besides realizing that each individual’s water intake needs are unique, those with liver disease are especially encouraged to define their body’s water requirements and consult this matter with a doctor.
None the less, here are still some suggestions. On the web site of The Mayo Clinic the suggested intake of daily fluids is based on the research made by The Institute of Medicine, which determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day and the adequate intake for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day. Another way is to calculate the daily intake of water yourself. This is a simple formula: take your body weight in kilos and divide that number by 30 (for example: if you weigh 55kg, divided by 30, you should drink 1.83 litters of water) or if you measure your weight in pounds, you should drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water. But there is also an easier way to get your daily intake of water right and it’s called the hydration calculator, which you can find on this web site: http://www.h4hinitiative.com/tools/hydration-calculator
Besides knowing how much water you should drink it is also very useful to know when you should and shouldn’t drink water. For example, we shouldn’t be drinking water at least 15min before a meal and at least one hour after a meal. Why? Because drinking water right before, in between or right after a meal will dilute your stomach fluids which are filled with enzymes that help digest food and by doing that we slower our digestion and create more work for our stomach, which can also have some unpleasant side effects, such as bloating, stomach ache, burping, flatulence…
But as we already spoke about water and weight loss, it is very important to know that we can often mistake thirst for hunger too, which leads to eating more unnecessary calories, so it’s important to always have water handy. On this topic, you can find below my practical example of a water bottle that reminds you when to drink and helps you stay on your water plan through the day. This is also a very practical product for all spas which have detox and sliming programs where drinking enough water is very important and want to give their guests a small practical gift as part of the spa’s goodie bag or sell it in their spa shop.
I hope I managed to convince you how important it is to drink water and that you will try to figure out which amount of it is right for you.
I would like to end this post with a water saying coming from Slovakian culture:
''Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine. ''
P.s.: here are some interesting articles on water you might be interested in